Press Release: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia
To mark International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the European Gay Police Association has launched its a unique video message for promoting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) equality across the European Union
Sunday 17th May is IDAHOT Day - International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia an annual event promoted across the world. To mark this year’s event, the European Gay Police Association (EGPA) have produced a unique video message promoting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) equality across the European Union.
The video message premiered on 11th May in Budva, Montenegro during the Third International Ministerial IDAHOT 2016 Forum titled "Ending Hate Crime and Violence". More than 230 international representatives gathered in Budva to attend what has been referred to as “the most important event of its kind in some of the countries of the region”.
The video message can be viewed on the EGPA Youtube channel and EGPA’s website: https://youtu.be/ZAuuI9DmHyc
There are currently 14 nations and territories represented on the EGPA Board: Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, France, Scotland, Italy, Austria, Norway, Ireland, Spain, Northern Ireland, Sweden, England and Wales. Their representatives have crafted a unique video message in order to show their support for LGBT people and collectively condemn acts of homophobia, transphobia and biphobia.
Members of EGPA are firmly committed to advancing the rights of both LGBT police employees and LGBT citizens. Underlining the need for further work to be achieved, EGPA’s President Herman Renes noted that ‘whilst significant progress has been made across many parts of Europe to tackle homophobia, transphobia and biphobia, some countries still lag behind or have introduced restricted freedom of expression laws which further erode LGBT human rights. In those places it would be almost inconceivable to be openly LGBT within the police force. Not to mention the fact that some police forces are obliged to enforce laws that lead to exclusion, discrimination, hate, brutal violence and death penalty of LGBT citizens. This unique video message highlights our joint determination to advance LGBT rights as fundamental human rights.’
Peter Rigby EGPA Ambassador for the Police service’s of England, Wales and Channel Islands said: “We sometimes forget how lucky we are to live in a society like the United Kingdom where equality and respect for others is protected by law and the moral belief of many in our communities. We have a police service that is educated on LGBT issues to a point where being gay in the police is completely accepted and so it should be. This cannot be said for many countries in the world, even within the EU where sometimes police officers can be the perpetrators. It is important we share our work collectively with other EU countries and also learn from them, as we don’t always get things right”.
Across the world 73 countries have laws criminalizing homosexuality. The European Gay Police Association unequivocallybelieves the police must exist to protect everyone's human rights, support victims of homophobia, transphobia and biphobia and investigate all such incidents/crimes and under no circumstances persecute anyone because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. That is the message conveyed with the video.